Baker, candlestick maker. . .

Nothing like waiting nearly a year between posts to keep readers on the edge of their seats, and nothing makes a splash quite like the quiet art of candle making, am I right?

I am inexplicably in love with these little quilted Kerr jars and keep buying them because, well, I have no excuse.  I keep buying them to put things in, that’s what they’re for.  In this case, candles!

Prepping the jars.I tried to make half of them lemon/vanilla scented, because, YUM, and I added a bit of lavender to the other half, because also yum, but I clearly have to work on my ratios as they smell like a whole lot of nothing when they burn.  They sure are cute little things though.

Now I just have to get on that whole “butcher” thing.

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Backyard Blitz

In a mad dash to have a presentable backyard for our now annual 4th of July bbq (we can call it that even if it’s only the second year, right?  I mean, yearly means yearly, no matter how many years . . .), Patrick has gone all Westeros on it.

New planter boxes have been built (and planted), the old planter bed has been torn apart, a new paved patio has gone down in its place, the deck has come down, and will shortly go back up, with the hot tub in place.  Phew!  This all took place in the span of  about a month and a half, so you know, no rush.  It’s a good thing Patrick and Marty work like they’re being whipped.

In progress

Stitch, enjoying the finished project.

Look ma, no deck!

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Time Passes

Time passes, and blog posts get condensed. . . . something I intend to do an entire post on ends up relegated to a single photo in an “update compilation” post.  But you understand, right?  We’re over here, working hard, taking on side jobs to make extra money, falling off ladders onto toilets (ouch, by the way), hosting and planning parties, just trying to get it all done.

I nearly finished the ottoman. The outside looks swell, the inside is pretty rough.

Stitch gets cuddle time with us on the couch now, which she takes full advantage of.

I finally hung my "animals in suits" after the addition of Mr. Peacock. YAY!

Patrick went from an Amish Whaler. . .

. . . to a late 70s/early 80s cop.

From green eggs n ham to a poached pal with asparagus, we have been eating many, many, very delicious eggs.

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And our basket is complete.

Olive finally started laying, and her eggs aren’t nearly as small as I imagined – they’re really the same size as Blanche and Rose’s.  Whoever said that three of her “tiny” eggs would equal one “regular” chicken egg was exaggerating.  Wildly.

Olive's pride and joy

In fact, Rose’s eggs should be WAY bigger than they are – hers are listed as “X-large” here, and they are much smaller than Dorothy’s also X-larges.

In any case, our egg basket is complete, with white, green, and two shades of brown.  To steal a friend’s bad joke, we are very eggcited.

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Green Eggs and Ham

We are so proud of Dorothy – not only has she started laying green eggs (!) but she’s laying with startling regularity compared to her sisters.  Rose and Blanche seem to be shamed by the size and regularity of Dorothy’s eggs because we’ve hardly seen a brown egg since Dorothy started laying.  🙁

Dorothy's big egg, next to Blanche and Rose's smaller eggs.

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Carport

Coming right along. . . seems a little bigger than I imagined, especially given how teeny tiny Stitch looks in it.

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Progress

We’ve done a lot with Little Red since August, but not nearly as much as I had hoped (always the way, right?)

Let’s see – did I ever show you my new floors in the laundry room/pantry?

Laundry room floor

Pretty right?  Patrick and Marty are THE BEST.  If you needed further proof, just check out the new dishwasher and sink/faucet/garbage disposal they installed.  I’m in HEAVEN.

Hard at work on dishwasher installation.

Our new baby.

. . . so nice. . .

We finally got some painting done as well (Mysterious blue in the dining room, Metropolitan gray in the living room, Popcorn white on the ceiling), and while I don’t have very many photos, I do have some of the dining room since that color made us a little bit nervous once it was actually on the walls.  We still have to paint the living room ceiling and do a second coat of blue and some gray touch up work.

Dining Room

It looks light on the bright wall.

And nearly black on the darker wall.

And now, we are currently in full swing on a . . . . “carport reinforcement project.” I expect the newly reinforced carport to look and act a whole lot like a garage and craft room with lots of storage, maybe a bathroom. . .

No more carport!

YES – the backyard looks huge.
NO – Patrick will not let me keep it that way and just have more garden.  Yes, I asked.

Also, NO – I did not finish that jewelry cabinet yet, but I did start building an ottoman too and mostly finished almost kind of.  No, we have not started on the bedroom which we said we were doing first.

Notable mentions: trimming trees and bushes in the front yard and generally tidying it up; constant spider web removal; partial replacement of the defunct extractor fan in the bathroom (did I tell you it got a nice coat of white paint while I was out of town?); a new chandelier in the dining room to replace the horrible plastic Tiffany/TGIFriday’sesque one that was in there (you can see one at the 1:30 mark if you watch that clip); a repair to the fan/light in the kitchen so I no longer have to cook by Christmas light (yes, I really did); constant chicken poop removal of all surfaces, mostly the coop and our back porch (thanks for that Stitch!); constant dog walking/exercising/interacting/doggy school to learn how to nicely approach other dogs (still a MAJOR work in progress); decorating for both Halloween and Christmas (and then taking those decorations down and storing them in the attic; entertaining family and friends; and creation and mailing out of our very first twee Christmas card.

Twee!

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How Time Flies. . . .

My last post was in August, which means I have a lot of catching up to provide. The chickens are CHICKENS and no longer little chicks.  Rose for sure has started laying, and we suspect that either Dorothy or Blanche is laying as well.  My fingers are crossed that it’s Blanche as I’m really hoping for blue or green eggs out of Dorothy, but I think I’m out of luck on that one.  Their personalities have developed in spades.  I’d estimate that Dorothy and Rose both weigh about 6 pounds, Blanche is probably 4 or 5 and Olive is probably only 3 pounds even with all the poo stuck to her feathered feet.

That's Rose with the big red comb and wattle. Dorothy is just in front of her.

Rose – Top of the pecking order, always the first to try anything.  She’s the first to check out what you’re doing, run over in case you have treats, eat said treats, first to lay eggs – she’s our little overachiever.  Rose is the only hen that “squats” for me – telling me I’m the rooster she likes best I suppose.  🙂

Dorothy –   Definitely the second in command, she is the second to try anything.  Gone are the days when she would climb up my arm and sit on my head as she did when she was a chick.  Now she looks at me suspiciously while trying to nab treats out of my hand before Rose can eat them all.  She’ll still let me pet her a bit, but no squatting.  I guess I’m not her type.

 

Blanche is in the back on the left, and Olive is next to her.

Blanche – Third in the order, I’m guessing mainly because of size.  If Rose & Dorothy are BFFS, then so are Blanche and Olive.  Blanche is nobody’s fool – always the last to go back in the coop, and the toughest to wrangle in there if we’re trying to put them away before bedtime.  Blanche won’t eat out of my hand or let me pet her, but comes running over with the other two when she thinks I have treats.

Olive – Oh Olive.  Olive is the blonde of the group.  Whether because she really is an airhead or because she can’t see around her punk rock feathered hairdo we’re not sure.  Olive is the last to do anything – nervously, squeakishly.  She’ll get close, then realize where she is and BUGAWK! and scamper away.  She is also the one that the others all look out for – if she can’t figure out how to get where they are, they’ll go back to her and try to show her by example.  She runs into walls and other obstacles regularly in her blind panic to get away from us.  🙁  So much for silkies being lap chickens!

We're getting nearly one a day!

Look at those gorgeous yolks!

One of my favorite photos; the Costa girls with the eggs they got while they were watching the girls for us.

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Chicken Update

The girls have gone from awkward teenagers (seriously unattractive and a bit prehistoric looking) to looking more like full grown chickens in miniature.

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Always behind. . . .

You know, I read a lot of other people’s blogs.  There are a TON of remodel/DIY/home improvement/design blogs out there.  Some are professional, but the others are just couples (or individuals) just like us, who are chronicling our tiny home base triumphs via the internet.  And I can’t help but wonder – HOW ON EARTH DO THEY HAVE ALL OF THIS TIME?  It seems like they lead rich, full lives – families, jobs, friends, plus projects, photographing said projects, then writing about said projects and uploading them all to their blog.

Patrick and I were talking about this today – how does it seem like we come home with a reasonable task list in mind, and then get like, none of it done?  I have a list of things I’ve intended to do for weeks now, but by the time I’m home, the mail is opened and dealt with, the dog is walked, the chickens are fed and watered, dinner is cooked, a load of laundry is done, a little bit of tidying is done (and I mean a little bit). . . . it’s bed time!  And on weekends we’re dog sitting, visiting family, spending time with friends or enjoying the luxury of sleeping in a bit (some of us later than others * cough, Patrick, cough *).  What are we missing?  How have we not quite gotten into the swing of things that others seem to be handling just fine?

We need to finish our chicken coop.  Well, the coop is built (though we caved and bought a cheaply made – grrr – prefab, Ikea style, screw it together yourself one, instead of doing it from scratch), but we haven’t prepped the ground to actually put the coop in place yet.  Speaking of which though, here are the girls checking the run out yesterday – they are seriously too big for their little brooding box now and need to go outside – even though they don’t like the cold and are afraid of the dark.  * sigh *  Such chickens.

Chicks in the run

Chicks in the run, some more

Stitch isn’t buying it

Our concern now is that Stitch will throw herself against the hardware cloth enough to break into the coop.  She is quite strong, and really good at shoving things with her front feet.  We’re hoping she just gets used to them enough to ignore them sooner rather than later, but given her prey drive, I doubt that’s happening.

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